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Revealed! The secret sauce of unknown players' IPL success

Source: PTI
April 10, 2024 12:56 IST
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Punjab Kings' Shashank Singh and SunRisers Hyderabad's Nitish Kumar Reddy played pivotal roles for their respective teams in their IPL match on Tuesday

IMAGE: Punjab Kings' Shashank Singh and SunRisers Hyderabad's Nitish Kumar Reddy played pivotal roles for their respective teams in their IPL match on Tuesday. Photograph: BCCI

Self-belief and the rigours of domestic cricket are the reasons behind the success of little known players in the ongoing Indian Premier League, said Punjab Kings cricketer Shashank Singh, who made yet another statement with the bat against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mullanpur on Tuesday.

Chasing 183 for victory, Shashank smashed an unbeaten 46 off 25 deliveries to nearly pull off another heist in partnership with Ashutosh Sharma (33 off 15 balls), but the team fell short by two just runs.


Shashank's plucky innings came on the back of an unbeaten 61, which had helped PBKS pull off a thrilling three-wicket win against Gujarat Titans on April 4 in a high-scoring match.

Despite the loss, Shashank received praise from all quarters for showing faith in his abilities.

"The only thing is self-belief. Like the way we play domestic cricket. Like you see SRH's Nitish (Reddy) here. He usually scores and takes wickets in white-ball and red-ball cricket (in domestic competitions)," said Shashank, decoding the mantra behind his and the performance of a lot of youngsters in the ongoing edition of the IPL.

Young Reddy scored a vital 37-ball 64, which lifted Sunrisers Hyderabad to a challenging 182/9.

Besides Reddy and Shashank, the ongoing IPL has also seen a few lesser-known cricketers, such as PBKS' Ashutosh Sharma and Kolkata Knight Riders' Angkrish Raghuvanshi, turning the fortunes of their respective sides.

Shashank said the success in IPL has a lot to do with the grind in domestic cricket.

"The way we play in domestic cricket. Nitish and Ashutosh have performed in Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare and Ranji Trophy, (same for) Angkrish," Shashank said during the post-match press conference.

"You can say these players are unknown but they are known players in the domestic circuit. They did well in the domestic circuit and their performances in IPL are a reward of that (hard work). You need to continue your domestic performance here. Cricket is a game of self-belief at this level," he added.

SRH batter Abdul Samad praised Player of the Match Nitish Reddy for his effort with both the bat and the ball. The 20-year-old, after scoring a half-century, also took the crucial wicket of Jitesh Sharma.

"Last year Nitish played conventional shots but this year he is totally different. He has had a good preparation. Everyone had confidence in him and that's the reason he was promoted," said Samad.

Asked about lesser-known players giving impactful performances, Samad said, "First season for them, so they have got nothing to lose and they are eager to perform. They look very hungry."

Shashank looked visibly disappointed after the loss.

"We lost the match by two runs but the most painful thing is to lose a match because we play to win. A defeat is a defeat whether it is by two runs or 20 runs. I must credit Ashutosh for turning the match, the way he batted in the last over. We had belief till the second-last ball that it is possible," Shashank said.

"We did a lot of match simulation in the camp before the IPL. We (Ashutosh and I) used to shuffle between 5 and 6 in the batting order. We had been given a lot of scenarios like 60 or 70 off five overs and we chased that target a lot of times. So we always had the belief."

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